Dorothy H. Wickenden '76, L.H.D.'14

Executive Editor, The New Yorker

An accomplished journalist and author, Dorothy H. Wickenden has been the executive editor of The New Yorker since 1996 and is one of the most influential women in journalism.

Upon graduation from William Smith, Wickenden entered the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course, a six-week intensive summer program described as "the West Point of publishing." Upon completion of this program, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she was hired as an editorial assistant for the journal Shakespeare Quarterly at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

She spent the next 15 years at The New Republic, first as managing editor and later as executive editor. Wickenden went on to serve as national affairs editor of Newsweek before making the move to The New Yorker. In addition to her role as executive editor, she also serves as the moderator of The New Yorker's weekly podcast, "The Political Scene."

In 2011, Wickenden authored Nothing Daunted, a book that traces the westward journey of Rosamund Underwood and Dorothy Woodruff, Wickenden’s grandmother. NPR’s “Fresh Air” said of the book: “Wickenden summons up the last moments of frontier life, where books were a luxury and, when blizzards hit, homesteaders’ children would ski miles to school on curved barrel staves…. Nothing Daunted also reminds us that different strains of courage can be found, not just on the battlefield but on the home front, too.”

Wickenden has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New Yorker. She is the editor of The New Republic Reader: Eighty Years of Opinion and Debate, a compilation of the best work from some of the magazine’s top contributors, including George Orwell, Rebecca West, John Dewey, Arthur M. Schlesinger and many others.

Wickenden has served on the faculty of The Writer’s Institute at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, and she is a member of the final selection committee for The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

Wickenden graduated from William Smith magna cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, earning her B.A. in English with high honors. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1988. She served as a member of the Colleges’ Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1998. She received the President’s Medal at Hobart and William Smith in 2006, and in 2014, an honorary doctorate from the Colleges. In 2015, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Iona College. In November 2018, she was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, where she worked on her forthcoming book, The Agitators: How Three Friends Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights, and Hastened the Civil War’s New Birth of Freedom.